Ancient Egypt eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 284 pages of information about Ancient Egypt.

The repulse of this huge host was felt by the Egyptians almost as the repulse of the host of Xerxes was felt by the Greeks.  Nectanebo was looked upon as a hero and a demigod; his throne was assured; it was felt that he had redeemed all the failures of the past, and had restored Egypt to the full possession of all her ancient dignity and glory.  Nectanebo continued to rule over “the Two Lands” for nine years longer in uninterrupted peace, honour, and prosperity.  During this time he applied himself, with considerable success, to the revival of Egyptian art and architecture.  At Thebes he made additions to the great temple of Karnak, restored the temple of Khonsu, and adorned with reliefs a shrine originally erected by Ramesses XII.  At Memphis he was extraordinarily active:  he built a small temple in the neighbourhood of the Serapeum, set up inscriptions in the Apis repository in honour of the sacred bulls, erected two small obelisks in black granite, and left his name inscribed more than once in the quarries of Toora.  Traces of his activity are also found at Edfu, at Abydos, at Bubastis, at Rosetta in the Delta, and at Tel-el-Maskoutah.  The art of his time is said to have all the elegance of that produced under the twenty-sixth (Psamatik) dynasty, but to have been somewhat more florid.  The two black obelisks above-mentioned, which are now in the British Museum, show the admirable finish which prevailed at this period.  The sarcophagus which Nectanebo prepared for himself, which adorns the same collection, is also of great beauty.

We cannot be surprised to find that Nectanebo was worshipped after his death as a divine being.  A priesthood was constituted in his honour, which handed down his cult to later times, and bore witness to the impression made on the Egyptian mind by his character and his successes.

XXVII.

THE LIGHT GOES OUT IN DARKNESS.

Nectanebo’s successors had neither his foresight nor his energy.  Te-her, the Tachos or Teos of the Greeks, who followed him on the throne in B.C. 366, went out of his way to provoke the Persians by fomenting the war of the satraps against Artaxerxes Mnemon, and, having obtained the services of Agesilaues and Chabrias, even ventured to invade Phoenicia and attempt its reduction.  His own hold upon Egypt was, however, far too weak to justify so bold a proceeding.  Scarcely had he reached Syria, when revolt broke out behind him.  The Regent, to whom he had entrusted the direction of affairs during his absence, proved unfaithful, and incited his son, Nekht-nebf, to become a candidate for the crown, and to take up arms against his father.  The young prince was seduced by the offers made him, and Egypt became plunged in a civil war.  But for the courage and conduct of Agesilaues, which were conspicuously displayed, Tacho would have yielded to despair and have given up the contest.  In two decisive battles the Spartan general completely defeated the army of the rebels, which far outnumbered that of Tacho, and replaced the king on his tottering throne.

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Project Gutenberg
Ancient Egypt from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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